SINGAPORE: The National Stadium pitch has been fully laid with a new turf system and is ready to host the 28th SEA Games track and field events, which begin on Tuesday (June 9) with the men’s hammer throw at 9.30am.
The pitch area was bare and covered with a protective surface before the Games, and work to lay it with natural grass began immediately after Friday’s opening ceremony, taking 37 hours to complete, said operators SportsHub Pte Ltd (SHPL).
HG Sports Turf, who are contracted to supply and maintain the turf for three years, and a team of about 50 staff were involved in the operation that went off without a hitch, said SHPL senior director of corporate communications and stakeholder management Jose Raymond.
“The real challenge was ensuring that the trucks carrying the turf from the nursery site to the National Stadium had a seamless journey,” he added. “That process worked very well with almost no delays, all thanks to the coordination which we had with SINGSOC and the organising committee of the SEA Games opening ceremony.”
The new turf system, called Eclipse Stabilised Turf (EST), replaces the Desso GrassMaster which came under heavy criticism as the grass failed to regenerate after major non-sporting events at the 55,000-seat stadium.
A key feature of the EST is that it allows turf operators to immediately replace damaged or degraded portions of the field from about 8,000 sq m of reserve turf available from local nursery TEHC International.
In the unlikely event replacement is needed after the end of the athletics programme on Friday, the pitch will be in perfect condition for the…